Loving your kids is a given.
They sit etched in your heart with that deep, beautiful love that will never go away.
But I am surprised at times by those moments you realize that you are truly, sincerely falling in love with your kid. Not that parental love but a massive crush. You gaze dreamily at your child as you witness a certain kind of character they are demonstrating. Admiring their virtue and wishing hard that what you see is a little taste of what the future holds, a core value they might hold true for life.
A morning last month started off like most mornings these days. Our lives have been hectic. Near insane in fact with two parents traveling for work, major projects coming to a head. We ran around like mad chickens, prompting getting dressed, pushing our daughter to get moving to brush her hair, reminding the kids of teeth, backpacks, lunches. You know the drill.
Through a serious case of two ships in the night, we both totally glitched on the fact that it was a special field trip day. Completely omitted from our Google calendars/brains/wall book that we had volunteered. We did rock, paper, scissors. We cursed a few times. In the midst of all the crazy, there was our son. Dressed, teeth brushed, hair combed, boots on without any kind of reminders. He sat on his bed looking as pleased as punch. So excited about this field trip and so worried we would be late.
I accepted this sudden change in design of my day, and that I would be the one representing. After all, field trip + public transit + wandering Autism is like my very own version of Fear Factor.
We met our motley crue at the school. One of the members of our group was a sweet, little girl our little man decided was his responsibility to help for the day. My heart skipped a beat as we left the school into the rain. His SNA and I smiled at each other as we watched him pull out his umbrella to shelter both of them on the way to the bus.
When we got to the subway, he took her hand. He made sure she stuck with the crowd. He made sure she was taken care of and told her to not to worry, that he had her covered.
Throughout the day, I witnessed him checking in with her to see if she needed help, holding her hand, making me want to weep from his sweet heart.
I saw a kindness and a caring that surprised even me. We see him feel joy all the time when he does good things for others. Whether its reading to the little kids in daycare, or happiness when he has a special moment for a friend, he is a good kid.
This was different. Without encouragement he put effort into making his friend secure and safe. You could tell caring for kids makes his heart zing and that.. makes mine.
My happiness for the day couldn’t change after that.
In the simplest of ways, he brought back my faith in humanity. In the quietest of ways, he made my heart swell for him.
When one person simply cares about the welfare of another.
For that, I am totally smitten.